Mike G 1939 Ford Deluxe 2dr Tudor Sedan

Driving the wheels off of it

My first car was a 1939 Ford 2dr sedan that my father bought in 1950 from the original owner. He drove it until the late 50's and parked it because of a bent front axle. Somehow I was able to get him to fix it and let me drive it to college in the sixties. By the way, my dad was a mechanic and his challenge was to get the bent axle replaced. When he could not find one, he used one from a 1946 Ford and sectioned the wishbone to make it work. Oh yea, it now had a wider front track which made the wheels rub on hard turns. I painted it in his shop and had the front seat upholstered in black naugahide for $35. and I thought I had the coolest car around. After driving it to college for about a year and figuring out most of the little problems that come with owning an old car, I pretty much knew what to expect, like when it just quit running, that meant that the fuel pump bulb was full of rust from the gas tank and just needed to take it off and clean it and go on. But one day I had a bigger problem on my hands. I was driving my girlfriend and her friend around town shopping and was returning them to their dorm when something felt very weird in the back of the car and then suddenly it dropped down in the back. I got out to find the rear wheel protruding outward from the wheel well and the wheel opening was resting on the top of the tire. I had literally run the wheels off of my car, and right in front of the student center ! I had it towed to the Ford dealership and found out that it was a broken pin in the rear axle that allowed the axle to work its way out of the housing. We were so thankful that it happened where it did and not on a major roadway where we would have been going faster. Of course the girls were kind of embarrassed by being in an old car with the wheels falling off of it. I drove that car about two years total and put over 10K on it and even drove it on freeways at 75 mph. I parked it when I married my girlfriend. The wife is gone but the 39 is still in the family (64 years) and waiting for a son or grandson to help bring it back to life for many more years to come.

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